Friday, March 18, 2005

I Work With A Bunch Of These...

Ruth the mule gets a daily workout while she carries 9-year-old Saje Beard to her one-room school house near Bismarck, North Dakota. The country school serves a total of 5 students. The commute itself takes about 30 minutes:

At the Manning School, about 15 miles south of the North Dakota capital, Saje "parks" Ruth by tying her with a bowline to a tree near swing sets and monkey bars.

Ruth then gets some leather hobbles attached to her front legs, a routine Saje began after her other mule, Shirley, got loose and ran home from school last year.

Saje's classmates, who are in kindergarten through fourth grade, help take off Ruth's saddle and tack.

It's stored in the school's cloakroom, next to basketballs and other playground equipment.

The five children then run to the school's flagpole to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the national anthem. The mule, named Ruth, prances and kicks up dirt as the children sing.

"It's cool," Lucas Irving, 10, said of his classmate and her mode of transportation. "She's cool."

We here at The Education Wonks not only think it's "cool," but we're envious as well.
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